[The Political Beekeeper's Library at Konstfrämjandet (2017). Window exhibition. Photo: Erik Sjödin.]
The Political Beekeeper's Library is an effort to collect, organise, and activate books where parallels are drawn between how bees and humans are socially and politically organised.
The library currently includes a selection of 26 books about bees, written between the 4th century BCE and present day. In addition to dealing with questions about behaviour and social organisation the library also deals with anthropomorphism and zoomorphism, and with questions of science and philosophy in general.
In April 2017 a pocket book that serves as and introduction and index to the Political Beekeeper's Library was released at Konstfrämjandet followed by a conversation between Erik Sjödin and Jacob Bull.
[The Political Beekeeper's Library at Konstfrämjandet (2017). Presentation / Conversation with Erik Sjödin and Jacob Bull.]
Erik Sjödin is an artist and researcher whose practice is concerned with interdependencies and interrelationships between beings, things, and phenomena, as well as philosophical and practical questions about how we live today, have lived in the past, and may live in the future. One of his focus areas is pollinators, and, in particular, relationships between humans and honey bees. His work on this topic has included building habitats for pollinators together with youths, facilitating a reading circle about human and bee relationships, and collecting, organising, and activating books where parallels are drawn between how bees and humans are socially and politically organised.
Jacob Bull is a social and cultural geographer. He is coordinator of the Humanimal Group at Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University. Working with fish, ticks, cattle, and bees his work focuses on the role of animals in understandings of space, place, and identity. He is currently working with a project that investigates how beekeepers in the Nordic region are adapting to changing circumstances. He is also a beekeeper himself.
[The Political Beekeeper's Library, Pocket Book (2017).]
The pocket book is now also available for order directly from the publisher Ostertorp. The pocket book and its accompanying website, www.thepoliticalbeekeeperslibrary.org, has been produced with support from Konstnärsnämnden, The Swedish Arts Grants Council.